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Monday, January 30, 2012

"Red Ginger" - a very quick plein air pastel painting

12 x 9 pastel

Waimea Valley and Falls is a lovely place to visit.  It can be quite crazy on a weekend.  We got there early in the morning on a weekday and it was quiet and peaceful.  Lots of botanical areas and paths, a lovely natural creek and waterfall, meadows and benches to sit, birds to listen to and watch on the grass.
Waimea Falls (at 1/3 capacity)

After walking all around, we had a quiet time at a grassy picnic area and I did a one-hour painting of red ginger hanging over the grass while my husband read a book.
? heliconium?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

"Temple Fish" in progress...

Today was a day to relax.  An hour by the pool,  a little walk about, and a little time by the beach.  It was too breezy outside to paint, so I dabbled on this "fishscape", using my photo from yesterday at the Temple up on the computer.  Adobe Photoshop zoom helped me to see the fish eyes and details a little better.

I started with a watercolor underpainting, then began to add pastel.  No time to finish.  Had to put it away and pack for tomorrow.  We are going to Waimea Falls Park.  I wish I could paint faster!  So many subjects I would like to paint....

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Byodo-In Temple in Hawaii - plein air study

12 x 9 pastel

Today I visited the Byodo-In Temple on Oahu, Hawaii.  This is a replica of a temple at Uji, Japan.  There was a jazz festival there today as well, so I got to listen to music while painting.  I am calling this a field study, because it was done quickly and with frequent interruptions by people who wanted to talk to me, which did affect my concentration and rhythm.  But it was still a wonderful day, and I took lots of photos.

I REALLY have a tough time with buildings!  And this architecture was quite a puzzlement to me!!!  LOL!  I really goofed here!  Oh well, here is a link to the park's website so you can see the real deal!

Friday, January 27, 2012

"Breakwater" pastel painting

9 x 12 pastel

This morning I went out to a point where the breakwater is and an inlet for the swimming lagoon for our resort.  I thought I would practice waves again.  This time, I did a sketch first, to work out a better composition than the last one.

I had a few visitors.  I enjoyed talking with a Japanese woman from Nagoya, Japan.  We spoke in our broken English and my few words of Japanese.  You see, I have an interest in Nagoya.  When I was an exchange student, I visited a family there for three weeks.

Another lady from New York, who is a watercolorist, came by too.  She was quite fascinated how I start my paintings with watercolor, and then add pastel on top.

There is a nice koi pond here at our resort.  I'll have to do a painting of fish - only this time should be more challenging - they keep moving.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

"Aqua Waters" pastel painting

9 x 19 pastel on paper

Today we went for a drive and had lunch on a beach.  We saw whales breach off in the distance.  The ocean was rougher today, and the Trade Winds were finally here to help blow the "vog" away (volcano produced fog/smog).  The waves were rolling in, and while hubby read his book, I painted this while sitting on the sand (to avoid the wind as much as possible).

I haven't had any training in seascapes and painting moving ocean waves, but I had fun trying.  The tropical colors of the ocean is irresistible.  I was so into it that I wasn't paying attention to the "it's time to go now" hints I was getting.

Tomorrow it is supposed to rain.  I don't know what I'll do....

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"Kailua Beach" plein air pastel painting

12 x 9 pastel on sanded paper

I met with the Windward Wanderers and had a wonderful time "painting in paradise"!!  Kailua Beach is a beautiful beach.  The sand is like silk, the water shallow and calm enough for small children to play.  There is a lagoon from a stream that empties into the beach.  These colors are real!  Absolutely gorgeous turquoise water!

The painters were friendly and I joined them for lunch at the local market down the street, where we sat at picnic tables and admired each other's work.  One of the painters was visiting from Susanville which is about 90 miles from Reno where I live!  Fancy meeting here!  The picture below is of her with her watercolor of the canoes by the lagoon.
I am really happy with my new "Backpack" size Heilman pastel box.  Because it is smaller, I can now use my umbrella and I can adjust it perfectly to shade my work and pastels.

Aloha from Hawaii!

With the fire threat behind us, we were able to go on our vacation with no worries.

This is the early morning view from our resort room.  I am on my way to the windward side of the island to meet Helen Iaea and the Windward Wanderers (all media plein air painters) to paint on location at Kailua Beach Park.

Helen is the president of Pastel Artists of Hawaii, and responded to my e-mail by inviting me to paint with them.  Helen is not only a wonderful pastelist, she is also a talented watercolorist.  See her website here, and be sure to check out her pastel entitled "Tropical Tangle".  Gorgeous flowers!

You can also check out the Pastel Artists of Hawaii website here.  Unfortunately, I just missed their recent paint-out.


Friday, January 20, 2012

The fire danger has passed....

Hello my friends!  We had a scary wild fire in our area and it was heading our way.  The 80mph winds made it out of control.  At this time they have counted 26 houses burned.  Yesterday I voluntarily packed up my bunny, and put all six birdies in one small cage, and took them and some important personal items to our old little house that is empty and for sale, since it is farther away from the danger.

My girlfriend lives in the area where it started and several homes in her neighborhood were lost.  I talked to her on her cell phone because she had no power.  She was covered with soot from using the garden hose on hot spots in her yard, but otherwise she was safe.

The barn where we both board our horses was upwind from the fire, so we were relieved about that.

My husband and I then packed more bags and just watched TV to see how it was going.  We could see fire on the ridges from our house - a big orange glow outline.  We went to bed and did not sleep well.  The smoke gave me a headache.  No one came to order evacuation.

This morning it was 50% contained, and the wind was quiet, so I went back to pick up the pets and unpack everything.  I am still worried about another friend who lives in one of the neighborhoods that was evacuated.  My heart goes out to those that suffered loss, and my thanks and appreciation for the firemen, policemen and first responders who worked so hard all day and all night.


Friday, January 13, 2012

"Textures of a Cedar" pastel painting

20 x 16 pastel on board

Well, I finished it.  It was interesting working much larger.  I found that I did the same size strokes as when I work small.  It is not like painting with a brush, where you switch to using a larger brush.  My pastel pieces are still the same size and many have worn down to little pieces.  Next time, I will try to make the strokes bigger.  It will help to not pick a subject with so much texture that I want to include as part of the scene.

Next time, I'll try BIG and BOLD!!!!  (that is hard for me!)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New painting in the new year - in progress

painting in progress

Hello and Happy New Year to all!  I hope you enjoyed the holidays as much as I did.  As much fun as it was, I am happy to be back to a routine and painting.

Here is a painting I am working on.  It is the largest pastel I have tried thus far.  It is 16 x 20.  So, I figure I should allow myself more time to complete it than before.  I started with a watercolor underpainting and now I am doing pastel over it.  If it works out, some of the underpainting may show through.  If not, it will be totally covered with pastel.  I let the painting dictate to me what it needs.

I am also working on another project .... my new website!!!!   Woo-hoo!!!  At this time I am building it.  When it launches, you will be the first to know!!!